J. Cole’s Verse Sounded Off, So I Fixed It | All My Life J Cole lil Durk Reaction

Recently I was listening to a very touching song by Lil Durk ft J. Cole called “All My Life” but there was something bothering me about J. Coles’s verse in regards to some of his rhyme schemes. Now J. Cole is an elite rapper and I’m sure everything I’m about to show you was intentional on his part.

Now here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to play J. Coles verse 4 bars at a time and I’m going to point out the things that felt off to me, I’m going to explain what I did to fix it, and then I’ll play my recording so that you can hear the difference.

Once I get through his verse I’ll playback his entire verse followed by my revised version and I want you to vote on which version you prefer in the comments section below. So It’s going to be Cole Mize Vs J. Cole And there is no right or wrong answer, it’s just a matter of personal taste and when it comes to rapping, theirs no rules theirs only techniques.

Now the lyrics you see are musically structured with 100% accuracy which means every syllable that’s at the beginning of each line is what lands on the 1st beat of each bar. This is why you will see some words split between lines. Also, the (B)’s represent breaths/pauses.

BARS 01 – 04

Now Let’s check out J. Cole’s first 4 bars.

One thing that was bothering me here is I felt the 2nd bar could use an internal rhyme to keep the momentum going that J. Cole created from the 1st bar. So I decided to rhyme with the word “straight” by placing an “aye” type of adlib at the end of the bar. And here’s what that sounds like.

BARS 05 – 08

Now let’s check out J. Cole’s next 4 bars.

I love how J. Cole started adding a slight harmony to this part but the last bar threw me off a little bit because he had this dope multi-syllable rhyme going on the 3rd bar of this quadrant but he only rhymed with humble on the 4th bar. So I reworded this section of the bar to say “you gotta stay humble in fact” And here’s what that sounds like

BARS 09 – 12

Now let’s check out J. Cole’s next 4 bars.

I loved these bars and enjoyed the multitude of rhyme schemes that were being juggled but there was something slightly bugging me about the 4th bar. J. Cole had a really dominant rhyme scheme going with “Ah” sounds but he broke that rhyme scheme on the 4th bar which made it feel incomplete. So on the beginning of the 4th bar I replaced his breath with “Nah”. And here’s what that sounds like.

BARS 13 – 16

Now let’s check out J. Cole’s next 4 bars.

I love how J. Cole started rapping fast on the 2nd bar here and then pulled back on the 3rd bar and then rapped fast again on the 4th bar. This gave his rap flow a nice push and pull feel but the 4th bar was still bothering me for the same reason as before. J. Cole has a dominant rhyme scheme going with “Uh” sounds but he breaks it on the 4th bar. His rhyme scheme was only 3 bars and in music when we do things in odd numbers it usually feels incomplete. So I just re-worded the 4th bar so I could complete the rhyme scheme by using the word “Exhumed”. And here’s what that sounds like.

BARS 17 – 20

Now let’s check out J. Cole’s last 4 bars.

I love everything J. Cole did here! This reminded me a bit of some of those dense Eminem-type rhyme schemes and from strictly a writing standpoint I love how he ended his verse with him saying the only thing he hopes people die from is old age. These bars felt perfect to me so I didn’t change anything.

Now I’m going to play his entire verse back followed by my revised version and let everyone know in the comments section below which one you liked the best.



The #1 Fundamental To Rapping

My name is Cole Mize with Cole Mize Studios where I strive to make you a better rapper now. Check below for a link to my free ebook, The #1 Fundamental to rapping, and always remember, when it comes to rapping theirs no rules, theirs only techniques. Peace!

  • See I’m just not convinced by this. Absolutely no hate to Cole Mize here btw. But when you try and overly quantify rap and make it a set formula, you end up ruining it in my opinion. What J. Cole did was fantastic, because he broke the boundaries you’re putting in place, making it seem more fluid and less technical than your version. Again, no hate, just my opinion.

    • Hey PSI, you’re right, What J.Cole did was fantastic! But please understand, I’m not setting any boundaries or locking anyone into any formulas. In fact, my tagline at the end of all my videos are “when it comes to rapping, there’s no rules, there’s only techniques”. This is a perfect example of why I always say that. The main thing I wanted you to get out of my video is to understand the reason why his verse sounded the way it did and I achieved that by letting you hear an alternate version of it. There’s no right or wrong, just different techniques. I don’t teach people “how to rap” I teach you the techniques you need to learn to be a skilled rapper so you can make the music you want to hear. I hope this helps clarify my stance. Thanks for watching and commenting, I really do appreciate it! ✌😎 – Cole Mize

  • Let’s not forget the piano melody is only on a 6 bar loop, originally sampled as a 8 bars loop the last two bars were dropped. I’d say ask me how I know, but that’s a better question for Dr. Luke. GFD…all my life…I only want to be with you…and all my life…blah blah blah…blah blah blah blah blah

    • Not 8&6 wrong beat, was 4 bars broke down to 3. I would love to post a pic directly from my fl files to show it but can’t.

  • I understand what you did here seeing as how I do the same thing from time to time but here you unnecessarily overanalyzed the verses construction. Even given the theory of the “intended” rhyme scheme, you missed the point entirely since not every bar was meant to coincide. More M.C.’s than you might think do just that-purposely (check out G-Eazy “Me, Myself and I” which I’m sure will give you a headache. Looking at it that way it’s completely off- but if you listen to it everything comes together exactly the way it was supposed to.) Not every verse was intended to fit a certain beat and no other so why should verse compilation be any different?

    • Hey Pre-tench-is, I understand where you’re coming from. Please understand that I didn’t “over analyze” anything. I simply explained what J Cole did and demonstrated how it would sound if everything was even. I never said even is right and odd is wrong. J Cole created tension in his verse and I wanted to share that technique with other rappers. As I say at the end of all my videos, when it comes to rapping there’s no rules, there’s only techniques. Thanks for watching and commenting. Much respect! ✌😎 – Cole Mize

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